Recent developments in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have transformed industries, from robotics to autonomous cars. It goes without saying that the continued development of these technologies will drastically transform all industries.
For web developers, the impact of AI and ML may initially seem murky. However, the prevalence of web development firms across the globe and the increasing complexity of web applications points towards the emergence of AI and ML to create smarter and more customized applications for users.
By using AI, developers have the opportunity to drastically transform how applications react to the individual needs of users, from chatbots, marketing, and creating customized experiences for individual users.
At this point, you've probably heard the term AI so many times that it has turned meaningless, relegated to the category of buzz words that often have no real world application.
However, this is far from the case. AI is already used in countless applications, like Smartphones, voice search, Roombas, and many more commonly seen products.
In this article, we'll be talking mainly about Machine Learning (ML), which is a subcategory of AI that involves training an algorithm to solve a specific problem, much like you train a dog to sit.
If we look at voice search for example, it would take years to develop an application that will recognize and parse words from audio using a traditional algorithmic approach (by parsing the voice file for various tones and using a search/match algorithm) but is relatively easy by using AI.
The core concepts of AI, such as neural networks, rely on complex mathematics that is out of the scope of this article. However, industry leaders, such as Google and Facebook, have developed and open sourced libraries and API's that abstract many of the complex work behind Ai and ML algorithms to make it easier to integrate these powerful tools into any application.
Lets look at some examples of how AI and ML is currently integrated with the web:
Facebook, one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, uses AI to create customized user experiences for each individual users. The default feed is a machine created set of curated content that was designed and optimized to fit your needs based off of your previous in-app behavior.
By using AI, Facebook can create and customize an interface specifically to fit your needs as a user
Digital marketing, specifically in the field of analyzing customer behavior, uses AI to process large amounts of data to make informed decisions based on customer needs. This helps companies make smarter decisions on building features, fixing bugs, and optimizing applications for user engagement and happiness.
If you're interested in exploring how AI can be applied to your application, I recommend reading about the libraries below that abstract many of the complex algorithms behind AI.
TensorFlow.js - One of the most popular ML and AI libraries
ml5.js - High level interface for TensorFlow
ConvNetjs - Deep learning models in browser
AI can be a powerful tool for improving an applications value and increasing customer satisfaction. Interested in hearing more? Signup for my newsletter that covers AI and ML news.